Nicolai K. Knudsen

I’m a philosopher, working on social ontology, phenomenology, and practical philosophy. I'm currently an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Aarhus University, and before that, I was a Carlsberg Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford.

My main interest concerns the ontological and moral dimensions of social interaction. Combining analytical, phenomenological, and critical methods, I have published on social cognition, joint action, social normativity, and the moral responsibility of groups.  My first book, Heidegger’s Social Ontology: The Phenomenology of Self, World, and Others was published by Cambridge University Press in 2023. Here I argue that Heidegger’s phenomenology is an underexplored resource for contemporary social ontology, and I show what Heidegger’s claim that Dasein is always already Mitsein entails for his distinct conceptions of human mindedness and agency as well as his existentialist conception of authenticity.

In more recent work I focus on our interaction with what we can broadly call weird agents. A weird agent is, roughly, a system that has some of the social and agential capacities that we typically attribute to individual humans but not all of them. Examples of weird agents include poorly structured groups, AIs, and non-human animals.


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